Broncos linebacker Von Miller received a six-game suspension under the NFL’s substance-abuse policy Tuesday, taking away the best defensive player from a team many expect to make a run at the Super Bowl.
The league wanted a longer penalty for the third-year linebacker, but the sides agreed to less than half the season, a person familiar with the negotiations between the linebacker and the NFL told the Associated Press.
Broncos executive vice president John Elway said the team was frustrated with what happened ‘‘and, I think, disappointed in Von.’’
According to the NFL, Miller is eligible to play and practice through the last two preseason games. His suspension, without pay, will begin Aug. 31, and will cost him more than $800,000 of the nearly $2.3 million he’s scheduled to make this season. He can return to the field Oct. 14, the day after Denver’s game against Jacksonville. After being notified of the decision, Miller released a statement saying, ‘‘although my suspension doesn’t result from a positive test, there is no excuse for my violations of the rules.’’
The NFL has two drug policies — one that covers use of performance-enhancing substances and the ‘‘Policy and Program for Substances of Abuse’’ that applied to Miller’s case.
Byrd, Bills reach deal
A day before breaking camp, the Bills signed Jairus Byrd to a one-year franchise tender, an agreement that gives the two-time Pro Bowl safety $6.9 million this upcoming season. A person familiar with Byrd’s plans told the AP that the player is not in the Buffalo area and intends to join the team within a few days . . . Bills linebacker Nigel Bradham was ticketed for marijuana possession during a weekend traffic stop in nearby Tonawanda, N.Y. ‘‘It’s just a legal issue,’’ Bradham said. ‘‘I made a mistake, that’s it.’’ The 23-year-old starter was given an appearance ticket for unlawful possession of marijuana after he was stopped at about 2 a.m. Saturday and an officer smelled marijuana.
Sprain for Cousins
The Redskins survived a scare when an MRI revealed no major ligament damage in quarterback Kirk Cousins’s sprained right foot, said a person familiar with the situation, adding Cousins should be back in time for the Week 1 game against the Eagles. That’s also the projected return date for Robert Griffin III, who has made a remarkable comeback from major knee surgery. Griffin said he received a favorable report when he was examined by Dr. James Andrews before Monday’s game against the Steelers.
Moffitt traded again
The Browns voided their trade with Seattle for guard John Moffitt because they had concerns about his health. Down two guards because of injuries, the Browns acquired Moffitt on Monday for defensive lineman Brian Sanford. Moffitt even took the practice field in uniform Tuesday before he was escorted off by Browns coach Rob Chudzinski. With the deal nullified, the Browns retain the rights to Sanford. In the meantime, Moffitt was traded to Denver. Moffitt started nine games as a rookie in 20011 before sustaining a season-ending knee injury. He had elbow surgery last season before starting Seattle’s final six games. Later, Chudzinski named 29-year-old Brandon Weeden the starting quarterback and said running back Dion Lewis will likely be placed on season-ending injured reserve with a broken leg.
Eagles go with Vick
Eagles first-year coach Chip Kelly named veteran Michael Vick as Philadelphia’s starting quarterback. Vick has been solid in two preseason games, while Nick Foles has struggled to grasp Kelly’s multifaceted offense . . . Giants coach Tom Coughlin shuffled his offensive line in the wake of a knee injury to center David Baas, making first-round draft pick Justin Pugh the starter at right tackle. Left guard Kevin Boothe was moved to center to replace Baas and the versatile David Diehl shifted from right tackle to left guard . . . The Dolphins released cornerback Richard Marshall, who was scheduled to make $1.2 million this season, after he was squeezed out by offseason moves . . . While conceding he’s ‘‘a little rusty,’’ Falcons tight end Tony Gonzalez says he'll be ready for the start of his final season. Gonzalez, 37, has missed most of the preseason, part of an arrangement with officials when he decided to put off retirement . . . Cornerback Tarell Brown said that his new agent, Joel Segal, is in talks with the 49ers about compensation for a portion of the $2 million escalator Brown inadvertently voided in his contract by not participating in the team’s voluntary offseason program. Brown fired agent Brian Overstreet last month for the mistake, and said he learned via Twitter about the money he had lost. He acknowledged he didn’t know he stood to earn $2 million for sticking around, so he went home to Texas to train, as he has done in previous years . . . Ten former players, including Hall of Famers Dave Casper, Curley Culp, Tom Mack, John Riggins, and Ron Yary, are part of a class-action suit to reclaim payment from the NFL and NFL Films for the use of their names, likenesses, and images without the players’ consent.